Estonia starting to have AstraZeneca vaccine surplus, which may be donated

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AstraZeneca vaccine. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Minister of Health and Labor, Tanel Kiik (Center), says that Estonia also has left-over AstraZeneca vaccine doses. The decision to donate the surplus to other countries will be made as a mutual decision of the European Union.

The target group of the AstraZeneca vaccine is currently the 50+ age group of whom, 60 percent is vaccinated in Estonia. Estonia has kept AstraZeneca doses in reserve more than other products, while there has been a lot of controversial reports on the vaccine. In Kiik's opinion, the AstraZeneca vaccine surplus was expected, but there is no reason to be wary of the product, he said.

The minister said that the decision regarding donating or selling the doses should be made as soon as possible.

Kiik confirmed that Estonia has ordered enough vaccines for age groups to be vaccinated. A third of Pfizer and Moderna doses have already arrived, and 10 percent of Janssen's sales volume, the minister said.

"So in any case, we have ensured the vaccination for all people and age groups."

It is currently not certain when should the frontline employees who were vaccinated half a year ago, be vaccinated again.

"Currently, our national expert committee on immunoprophylaxis has recommended that people be vaccinated indefinitely. If we have more detailed studies, more detailed data on what a reasonable period of vaccination is, then we will establish a corresponding time limit," Kiik said.

Asked whether a decision would be made on whether a person would have to pay for the vaccination himself, Kiik said that if the COVID-19 pandemic continues, vaccination should be available to everyone free of charge, otherwise the risk of a new wave and the need for restrictions won't disappear.

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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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